Hamilton, William (1780-1835) (DNB00)

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HAMILTON, WILLIAM, D.D. (1780–1835), theological writer, was born at Longridge, in the parish of Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, on 4 Feb. 1780, of a family of some standing. After eight years' study at Edinburgh he was licensed as a probationer in 1804, called to be minister of St. Andrew's Chapel, Dundee, in 1807, and in 1809 translated to Strathblane in Stirlingshire, where he remained until his death. Hamilton was a scholarly man, an ardent evangelical churchman, and an excellent pastor. His sympathy with liberal political views and popular movements exposed him in some quarters to unjust rebuke. He was an ardent temperance reformer, when there were few such among the clergy, a friend of missions, a supporter of Sunday schools, and of bible and tract societies. He instituted a parochial library, and delivered popular lectures on topics of science and philosophy to his parishioners. He instituted and personally managed a savings bank. As a churchman he was strongly opposed to the system of lay patronage, and in the general assembly of 1834 he moved a resolution against it, though he knew that it would sustain the defeat which followed. Hamilton wrote:

  1. 'The Establishment of the Law by the Gospel,' 1820.
  2. 'A Dissertation intended to explain, establish, and vindicate the Doctrine of Election,' 1824.
  3. 'A Defence of the Scriptural Doctrine concerning the Second Advent of Christ, from the erroneous representations of Modern Millenarians,' 1828.
  4. 'The Mourner in Zion comforted,' 1830.
  5. 'Speech delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Church Patronage Society in Glasgow,' 1830.
  6. 'Remarks on certain opinions recently propagated respecting Universal Redemption and other Topics connected with that Subject,' 1830.
  7. 'An Essay on the Assurance of Salvation,' 1830.
  8. 'The Nature and Advantages of Private Social Meetings for Prayer,' 1835.

Shorter publications embraced a 'Memoir of Fanny Graham,' a 'Lecture on Savings Banks,' a tract on 'Temperance,' and speeches on 'Patronage.' Hamilton died suddenly on 16 April 1835. Among his children were James Hamilton, D.D., of London, and Andrew Hamilton, author of several volumes of travels and descriptive works.

[Scott's Fasti; Autobiography and Memoir, forming the first of two volumes of Life and Remains, edited by James Hamilton, Glasgow, 1836.

W. G. B.